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US Spy Chief: Hackers Are Targeting Presidential Campaigns

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US Spy Chief: Hackers Are Targeting Presidential Campaigns


The United States National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, has hinted that hackers who have an agenda beyond mere mischief are targeting U.S. presidential campaigns.

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James Clapper, the US National Intelligence Director has added to his earlier revelation of “indications” of hacking attempts targeting presidential campaigns. While not going into specific details, he claimed that hackers are eyeing campaigns with the intent of espionage.

A spokesman for Clapper told Reuters:

We’re aware that campaigns and related organizations and individuals are targeted by actors with a  variety of motivations – from philosophical differences to espionage – and capabilities – from defacements to intrusions.

Clapper was heard speaking at a recent event in Washington where he added that there will be more cyberattacks “as the campaign intensifies.”

Trump and Clinton, Schooled on Cybersecurity

As things stand, the U.S. Secret Service is charged with protecting the presidential candidates by looking to prevent and detect potential cyber security threats. Furthermore, the Secret Service is also tasked with making the candidates aware of the threats and vulnerabilities.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are working towards educating both the Trump and the Hillary campaigns – the likely nominees of their parties – of the dangers of cyberattacks.

Currently, the protocol also dictates that the Presidential and Republican candidates for the presidency will begin to receive intelligence briefings following their official nominations this summer.

Presidential Campaigns – A Hotbed for Cyberattacks

Previous presidential campaign trails from 2008 and 2012 which involved President Barack Obama’s campaign saw a diverse range of cyberattacks. Notably, US intelligence officials have pointed the finger at nation-state hackers, including certain Chinese groups.

Foreign hackers are likely to target a nominee to ascertain the candidate’s foreign policy intentions and even learn about the campaign’s internal operations.

While US intelligence officials aren’t concerned about cybersecurity matters whilst briefing candidates personally, there are fears that the candidates might share the information to aides or supporters via insecure forms of communication.

 Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Samburaj Das

Samburaj Das

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.

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